Guardianship Matters in Pittsburgh and Western PA

Navigating You Through Guardianship Proceedings

Once an incapacitated person attains the age of eighteen in Pennsylvania, they are deemed legally emancipated. This means that they are considered to be an adult and will be allowed to make their own decisions, regardless of disability issues. Therefore, their safety may be at risk if they are not capable of making wise decisions regarding health and financial issues. In this situation, it's practical for a family member or parents to petition the court to be appointed as a guardian. This means that they will be looking after the loved one with special needs, as well as their estate.

If your special needs child is now considered an adult in Pennsylvania, don't wait any longer to petition the court for guardianship. At my law office, I understand how difficult it can be to pay for court expenses and attorney fees. Hiring a Pittsburgh estate planning attorney who services the Western Pennsylvania area can be very important for your case's success. For this reason, my attorney fees are discounted, keeping special needs families' costs down.

Why hire my firm?

  • My clients will never be charged hourly for guardianship matters, I charge a flat fee of $3,500 for guardianships.
  • I will work with you to prepare your case quickly and efficiently, ensuring that your special needs child or family member is taken care of.
  • When you enlist my services, I will do everything I can to secure a successful case result.

How can a lawyer help with establishing guardianship?

When you meet with me to begin the legal process of gaining guardianship, I will review your special needs child's social services documents and guardian questionnaire. Any legal research that must be performed for your specific case will be handled in a timely and efficient manner. Once I have reviewed any social service reports, school reports, doctor's and/or psychiatrists reports, as well as reviewed the information which you provided to me in the guardian questionnaire I will ask you to complete, I will file the guardianship petition and the remaining ancillary documents needed.

Having an extensive amount of experience, I understand the different elements needed to secure guardianship for parents, relatives, or other appropriate parties. I will help your case by doing the following:

  • I prepare and serve all of the required notices, ensuring all interested parties are aware of the guardianship petition and of any scheduled hearings.
  • When it comes to scheduling a hearing with the court, I will file the motions or documents needed to secure a date as soon as possible.
  • Once you have been appointed as guardian, you will need to file an inventory of all of the assets titled to the alleged incapacitated person with the court, including subsequent annual accountings of their estate and of their person.

Filing all these forms in a timely matter is very important to ensuring the continuation of your appointment as guardian. It will also be necessary for me to consult with the loved one's doctor or physician and to take their deposition.

Why the Doctor's Deposition is Important

The nature of the doctor's deposition is usually as follows: I will ask the doctor a series of questions after he has been sworn in by a court reporter. The first questions will establish the doctor's educational background and expertise in his or her field. The second portion of the deposition will be questions which I will ask the doctor to determine whether or not the alleged incapacitated person is impaired to the extent that they are unable to maintain their own physical health and safety.

The doctor will also testify as to the alleged incapacitated person's ability to receive and evaluate information effectively and communicate decisions or are they too impaired to allow them to manage their own financial resources. There must also be an imminent danger that the special loved one will be unscrupulously taken advantage of without being aware of it.

If you have any more questions about the legal requirements for guardianship or petitioning, please contact my law office today. Due to the uniqueness of every case, I offer a complimentary initial consultation.